Dell Enhances Consumer PC Support and VDI Solutions to Address Modern Customer Needs

By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.

IT companies regularly talk about being “customer focused” but what exactly does that mean in practical terms? Most vendors conduct or sponsor market research studies that delve into the attitudes and proclivities of various client groups that might shape their buying habits and preferences. Others meet regularly with customer groups to gain insights into how they use specific products and services.

Those can be valuable resources for measuring and monitoring near term events and behaviors. But what can vendors do to address broader market moves and emerging trends? Two endpoint announcements from Dell EMC—one introducing new support services for Dell’s consumer PCs and the other designed to lower the adoption barriers to and improve the performance of Dell EMC virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions demonstrate how the company is tackling these challenges.

Dell’s Premium Support Plus

Dell’s new Premium Support Plus is designed to provide comprehensive services supporting Dell’s Inspiron, XPS and Alienware PCs. Premium Support Plus extends Dell’s existing Basic and Premium Support services, building on the24/7 phone service, onsite service after remote diagnosis, and support for hardware and software issues that are included in Premium Support and adding features for a solution that addresses critical areas for customers..

The new service leverages Dell’s SupportAssist technology, which enables it to proactively find issues, predict problems before they begin, automatically remove viruses and optimize performance. It also includes advanced features, like repairs for accidental damage, caused by liquid spills, drops, and surges.

Where did Dell get the idea for the new offering and what are its prospects? Interestingly, Premium Support Plus features, including its automated, proactive and predictive capabilities, have long been available and proven by Dell in commercial settings with its ProSupport Enterprise Suite and were made available on the ProSupport Client Suite in 2015. In other words, the new services extend to consumers the solutions and benefits Dell business customers have long enjoyed.

The fact is that many PC-owning consumers are likely to respond positively to Dell’s new service, though for different reasons. Gamers and media enthusiasts with Dell’s high-end Inspiron and Alienware gaming systems will be attracted to maintaining top performance for their systems, and being able to depend on fast, premium service in case of unusual problems and accidents. Owners of Dell’s premium XPS laptops and 2-in-1s often rely on their PCs for a range of critical personal and business applications, so proactively addressing system issues or quickly resolving issues is crucial.

Premium Support Plus should help keep both groups of key Dell PC customers satisfied and coming back for more.

Additions to Dell EMC VDI Complete

Introduced at Dell EMC World earlier this year, VDI Complete is a new solution that provides organizations virtual desktop hardware/software bundles at a fixed cost (beginning at $7 per month). VDI Complete solutions are highly customizable, and can incorporate a variety of Dell EMC thin/zero client endpoints, backend systems, OS/software bundles and management solutions.

The new additions to VDI Complete are:

  1. Support for VMware Horizon Apps, which enables scalable, easy management and delivery of virtual applications to PCs and thin clients via a single consolidated workspace. Solutions supported include Windows apps and those packaged and isolated with VMware ThinApp alongside SaaS and mobile apps developed in-house.
  2. A new expanded edition of VDI Complete with NVIDIA-based virtual GPU options is designed to enhance VDI client performance and improve knowledge workers’ and power users’ experience. The solutions supported include NVIDIA’s virtual GPU options and NVIDIA GRID vPC software (sold separately). NVIDIA’s Tesla M10 can be utilized in knowledge worker deployments. NVIDIA Quadro vDWS with Tesla M60 is a custom option for high performance applications and scenarios, like CAD/CAM.
  3. The new Dell Latitude 5280 mobile thin client combines Wyse thin client manageability, performance and security features with Dell’s Latitude technologies. The 5280 is designed for knowledge workers who require a secure digital workspace wherever their jobs take them. The system offers Intel 7th generation, Core i5 processors with 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 12.5-inch, full HD display and extended battery life. Customers can connect to VDI brokers, including Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft RDS and VMware Horizon, and can also add an additional security layer with Dell’s Threat Defense advanced threat prevention.

With these additions, Dell EMC has expanded VDI Complete from a cost-effective thin/zero client acquisition and deployment solution to one that supports customers’ discrete requirements for highly flexible, highly performing, highly mobile and highly secure employee endpoints. That also extends the company’s strategic positioning of thin clients as solutions that can efficiently support nearly any workplace end user or endpoint requirement.

The new Dell Latitude 5280 and expanded edition of VDI Complete with NVIDIA graphics are available now. VDI Complete solutions with support for VMware Horizon Apps will be available later in 2017.

Final analysis

When one considers how these new solutions and services reflect Dell EMC’s customer focus, the probable takeaway is that one size definitely does not fit all. That makes perfect sense both practically and strategically since companies that try to be everything to everyone typically become nothing to anyone.

By developing new offerings designed for modern customer constituencies, Dell EMC is making good use of its assets and investments and the experience it has gained engaging with millions of individual customers and businesses. These newest offerings also suggest that other timely, customer-centric Dell EMC services and solutions are still ahead. Once a workable framework for developing such offerings is put in place and properly supported, it tends to keep delivering benefits to all.

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